Normally these kinds of consistories are held inside St. Peter’s. Expecting this liturgy on the eve of the Synod on Synodality to attract a completely full St. Peter’s Square, the liturgy (not a Mass) was moved outdoors. The crowd, though, could have easily fit inside the basilica!
It is a beautiful Saturday morning—more than half the chairs are empty and the sections that seem to be full have many empty seats.
This is how the National Catholic Reporter says it:
Under a sun-drenched, though somewhat sparsely crowded St. Peter's Square, the pope tasked the new cardinals — his new orchestra members — to represent "the harmony and the synodality of the church."
This, a liturgy presided by the pope, fails to attract Catholics, non Catholics or tourists:
Throughout the video, due to good camera work, there is never a full shot of St. Peter’s Square, only close-ups of the small sections of seating with chairs, that makes it look like lots of people are there when there really isn’t. Embarrassing to say the least, and Vatican News knows it!